|Team Grand Rapids setting up our camp|
I've heard that boiled potatoes with a little bit of olive oil and sea salt are awesome when you're on the bike for an extended amount of time. I knew that the Mohican 100 would be really humid and I wanted to prevent having any gut rot that would prevent me from eating or drinking and getting the calories that I needed during those hundred miles. Sometimes when it's humid I crave salty and savory, and all of the drink mix and gummy things that I eat start sounding unappetizing and I have a hard time making myself eat and drink. Before loading up my gear and heading to meet up with my GRBC teammate (and now coworker!) Tyler Keuning for the drive down to Loudonville, Ohio, I boiled some potatoes, dressed them in oil and sea salt, and wrapped them in tinfoil: 3 lil guys for two drop bags, and 3 lil guys for my jersey pocket. Those potatoes, along with my Shot Bloks, Sports Beans, CarboRocket Rocketlytes, and CarboRocket Half Evil drink mix was my nutrition plan for a hot and humid 100 miles. That oughta do it, right?!
Flash forward to one of the hike-a-bikes up a loose clay climb: it was hot. It was humid. The man racing behind me started vomiting. I looked up and saw some turkey vultures circling around us. I swear I saw some human bones scattered on the trail (okay, okay, they were probably just deer bones.) It was all so crazy! I started laughing nervously. I told myself that I would eat my last jersey pocket potato once I made it to the top of the climb. It was my reward. All day long I had been rewarding myself with little treat ideas for pushing forward: Watermelon from the aid station, just make it a little further! Coca cola from the aid station, go get it! Ice cold lemonade from the gas station on the ride home, but you have to finish first! Get that finisher growler and take some IPA back home to Dan! Oh boy I wanted lemonade so bad. I made it to the top of the hike-a-bike and reached in to my sweaty back pocket. The tinfoil did not feel like a round, firm boiled potato... it was in patty form. A sure sign that the race had become about survival and not about speed. I was having a rough time, you guys, and my potato was mashed because the first 30 miles of single track had beaten me up and I had repeatedly fallen on it; mauling my precious little potato treat. What a disappointment to rally up a hike-a-bike, imagining eating your snack like a salty apple, only to find that it looks as haggard as you feel. I ate it anyways and started pedaling again. Potato, po-tah-to. I'll take it.
|When the going gets tough, trust in your "go fast" sticker to get you across the finish line. Thanks, Dan!|
|In my native habitat: food in mouth, minimal damage report, sweaty and muddy, laughing. Photo cred: Photoglyphix|
The rest of the course consisted of more climbing, more gravel roads, some paved roads, more segments of single track, more hike-a-bikes, more turkey vultures, enthusiastic volunteers at aid stations, more humidity, a rail trail, a suspension bridge, some sun showers, some thunder and heavy rain, and a paved section towards the end where I saw signs for Maggie's Lemonade stand. YES YES YES YES YES YES! I felt like I had willed the lemonade stand to magically appear!! YESSSS. I saw a minivan with a girl sitting on the tailgate. YES! I saw a table. I SAW SOME ICE COLD MOTHER EFFIN LEMONADE. I honestly couldn't believe my luck. I pedaled eagerly towards it. Then I saw the sign, "$1.00." Nooooooooooooo. "Oh, are you selling lemonade?" I asked the little girl, hoping to look pathetic and for her to take pity on me and to give me a tiny dixie cup full of free lemonade. "One dollar." She wasn't going to budge. I really couldn't be mad at her for trying to get some lemonade bucks, and I really didn't want her to feel bad for disappointing me, so I tried smiling and wished her good luck and I kept going. Sigh. Po-tah-to.
|Bright eyed and bushy tailed at the race start with my GR pals. Mike Bernhard, Tyler Keuning, and Tom Stritzinger|
|Mohican 100 finisher! 11 hours, 11th female. Photo cred: Photoglyphix|